September 5, 2018 • Life for Leaders
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
When you hear the word “together,” what comes to mind? The first image that flashed in my mind was of family vacations when I was young. I pictured my parents and three siblings riding in a car together on a mountain road, on our way to camping at Calaveras Big Trees State Park in California. The togetherness I felt during our family vacations was one of the highlights of my life.
According to Ephesians 3, the mystery God has now revealed includes three different ways of being together. You can see this in our translation of verse 6: “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” I’ve italicized the word “together” to emphasize the triple togetherness in this verse.
This three-fold togetherness reiterates what we saw earlier in Ephesians 2. There, unity or togetherness among people was something God produced through the cross of Christ. Ephesians 3:6 reminds us of this truth by mentioning that our togetherness is “through the gospel.” Moreover, we note that our togetherness is “in Christ Jesus.” It is a result of his effort. It is something we experience together when we live in the realm governed by Christ.
The repetition of “together” in Ephesians 3:6 underscores, once again, the fact that the Christian life is not meant to be lived alone. Though we have a personal, intimate relationship with God through Christ, we are not to live apart from a personal, intimate relationship with God’s people in Christ. At the center of the story of the gospel is God’s salvation through Christ, which leads to multiform togetherness between us and God and between us and our fellow Christians.
Something to Think About:
What are some of your best memories of togetherness?
How do you experience togetherness with God?
How do you experience togetherness with the people of God?
Something to Do:
Reach out to a brother or sister in Christ today, just checking in to see how he or she is doing. Nothing fancy needed. Just a simple experience of togetherness in Christ.
Thank you, Gracious God, for the togetherness you have forged through the death and resurrection of Christ. Thank you for the opportunity we have to live life not alone but together with you and your people. Help me, dear Lord, to experience this togetherness on a regular basis. Help me to contribute to the Christ-centered togetherness of my Christian community. Amen.
Explore more at The High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project:
Honoring the Body of Christ
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.